Winners and loser from the California 48th election

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Dana: Sometimes you win for losing, kid

Well, Harley Rouda declared victory today—arguably the biggest triumph of the national election season. So, first, congratulations to our congressman-elect and his family. And second, I present to you the you’ve-all-been-waiting-for Winners and Losers of the 48th …

• Winner: Harley Rouda—When I met Harley, oh, 1 1/2 years ago, we were sitting in the Harbor House talking election. I knew little, he seemed to know relatively little. In the months since, he put together one of the best regional campaigns I’ve ever seen. Just brilliantly run, and now he’s our next congressman. Amazing.

• Loser: Hans Keirstead—The presumptive Democratic front-runner ran a dreadful campaign, lacking charisma, empathy, cohesion. When he lost, he pledged to help Harley dash across the finish line. Then (poof!) he vanished. As did his reputation and future in local politics.

• Winner: Dana Rohrabacher—I know … I know. What? Well, here’s the bottom line: Rohrabacher served as our congressman for 30 years. Thirty. That’s an insanely long time. With this loss, there’s no more fundraising. No more angry calls. No more back-and-forth flights to D.C. No more political bullshit. Or, put differently: If someone told me I could have a job for 30 years, I’d be pretty psyched. Terrible congressman, but you can’t say this didn’t go well for the man.

• Loser: Scott Baugh—The man who was supposed to replace Dana is now, officially, cold product. There was a time when everyone knew this district would go Republican, and Baugh’s rise felt inevitable. That day has passed.

• Winner: Aaron McCall—The man in charge of the local Indivisible did an insanely good job keeping things organized, keeping people engaged, retaining enthusiasm when nobody felt particularly enthused. He and Laura Oatman were absolute all-stars.

• Loser: Donald Trump—Endorsed Rohrabacher with a Tweet, then watched as his boy got pummeled. Yet another White House defender cast adrift.

• Winner: The Environment—As yet another fire rages across Southern California, it’ll be nice to have a congressman who doesn’t think climate change is the byproduct of farting polar bears.

• Loser: Omar Siddiqui—Democratic candidate clearly has huge political ambitions—and a resume to sorta match. But after deciding to not run in his home district (he has an office in the 48th, but doesn’t live here), he kept exaggerating stories. Then, when Harley became the nominee, he, too, went silent.

• Winner: Kaira Rouda—Harley’s wife is an established author. And now she can stop having to attend speech after speech after speech, dinner after dinner after dinner.

• Loser: Whatever PAC paid for the anti-Harley ads—They didn’t work.


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